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Table 9.1: New Zealand’s 15 soil orders and their predominant land uses

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Soil order Region of New Zealand Percentage cover in New Zealand (%) Predominant land use

Allophanic

Central North Island

5

Pastoral farming, cropping, and horticulture

Anthropic

Central Ōtago, Westland

<1

Modified soils – extensive in urban areas and areas that have been mined

Brown

East Taranaki, Wanganui–Rangitīkei, east coast of North Island, Wellington, Marlborough, Nelson–Buller, Southland, and South Island high country

43

Intensive pastoral farming and forestry

Gley

Wetlands – low parts of the landscape prone to water logging

3

High-producing dairy farms (with drainage systems)

Granular

Northland, South Auckland, Waikato, and some areas in Wanganui

1

Pastoral farming, cropping, and forestry; horticulture in some areas

Melanic

Lowland plains on east coast of South Island (some in Northland)

1

Pastoral farming, mixed cropping, and market gardening

Organic

Lowlands of Waikato and Bay of Plenty wetlands

1

Vegetable growing and horticulture

Oxidic

Northland, Banks Peninsula, and Ōtago Peninsula

<1

Pastoral farming, forestry, and native bush

Pallic

East coast of North Island and Manawatū

12

Pastoral farming and mixed cropping

Podzols

Northland and Westland

13

Agriculture and forestry

Pumice

Central North Island, Hawke’s Bay, and Bay of Plenty

7

Pastoral farming, forestry, and native bush

Raw

Central North Island, Hawke’s Bay, and Bay of Plenty

3

Pastoral farming, forestry, and native bush

Recent (alluvial and coastal)

All districts (floodplains, lower terraces of rivers, and coastal areas)

6

Alluvial: dairy farming, arable crops, market gardening, horticulture, and sports fields
Coastal: pastoral and exotic forestry

Semi-arid

Central Ōtago

1

Pastoral farming, pipfruit, tussock land, and mountains

Ultic

Northland/Auckland

3

Urban, pastoral farming, and native vegetation

Source: Adapted from Molloy, 1998.